West boys soccer prepare for new season

Jan. 4, 2012 at 10:03 p.m.
Updated Jan. 4, 2012 at 7:05 p.m.

Diego Perez, wing, practices a corner kick at Victoria West High School on Wednesday, Jan. 4. TODD KRAININ/TKRAININ@VICAD.COM

Diego Perez, wing, practices a corner kick at Victoria West High School on Wednesday, Jan. 4. TODD KRAININ/TKRAININ@VICAD.COM

Bill Tally remembers when the University of North Carolina would have collegiate soccer matches in Texas.

The Victoria West coach remembers the Tar Heels' high pressure and how they poured people forward in search of goals. Tally said that approach, as well as the Tar Heels familiar 3-4-3 system at that time, will be focal points of his program entering the 2012 season.

With just three defenders, West's system is one that will emphasize running along with defensive communication and coordination. Despite having nearly two weeks off for the holiday break, the second-year coach said there was hardly a discernable drop-off for his team when it returned for further preparation for the Jan. 13 season opener at El Campo.

"A lot of it goes back to Memorial," Tally said. "Some of these guys that are seniors, they were freshman at Memorial. Their intensity is there and the desire to always win.

"Every year, your goal was to win district and go as far as you could in the playoffs. Just that attitude has stuck around and kept going. These guys have continued it, as well as the seniors last year."

Felipe Bastida and Jose Gonzalez are the two remaining holdovers from the days when Tally was the Vipers junior varsity coach. The latter will combine with Fabian Salazar and Hector Mendoza, when he returns from injury, in a fluid front three.

Bastida and Gonzalez will be among the captains of a team that returns 20 players with at least some varsity experience.

The gluttony of returning starters means two things: The Warriors will have a lot of depth to play the intense pressurized soccer their coach wants. It also means the team remembers what happens when they do not play well collectively.

A devastating 1-0 loss against Tuloso-Midway in the bi-district playoff round last year might not specifically fuel the Warriors, but Tally said it does provide a reminder of what happens when his team does not play to their potential for 80 minutes.

West lost on a 64th minute goal to a team it previously defeated in the regular season.

"Having a consistent group and a consistent level of play, I think that is going to be critical to what we are trying to do," Tally said.

After finishing third in District 59-4A a year ago, West wants to win the district championship and advance as far as possible once the playoffs start.

To do that, Tally said his team will have to beat the teams it is suppose to, while also concentrating on district play.

As trite as it might sound, this 2012 bunch are fans of the game and truly enjoys the sport. Many grew up on club teams, while others play casually on weekends and in settings beyond the varsity level.

And that love for the sport is something Tally thinks will take his team far this year.



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